How to Know What to Charge for Your Services

Charging what you’re worth is often an issue for entrepreneurs. Not wanting to charge too little, or too much, can lead to the inability to trust your pricing structure.

There are several factors to consider in pricing.

  • Labor costs
  • Hard costs including overhead
  • Profit margin

Before you set your pricing, you must know who your market is. No matter how wonderful your product or service, if you're offering it to the wrong market, you won't be able to convince people of the value.

Price your services too high and you risk losing customers who don’t see the value of what you offer.

Ask too little and you risk having potential clients think you are cheap or inexperienced.

Common Mistake

A common mistake of inexperienced entrepreneurs is way undercharging. They mistakenly think all decisions are based on cost rather than ROI.

There are plenty of people who will pay top dollar if they do get a great ROI.

A huge part of helping clients get a great ROI is a market match. Whomever you are targeting they have  to find value in what you offer.

For example, you may have a great coaching program on how to expand your revenue stream, but if you are offering it to people who work at fast food restaurants who have no interest, or desire, in building a business, you could give the program away and they would not see value.

On the flip side, when you are dealing with high end clients who have more money than time, trying to sell low priced info products to them in order that they can learn how to do a “thing” you are missing the mark. They will pay to have the “thing” done.

You absolutely must know who you are marketing to.

You risk resenting your clients if you undercharge. You risk feeling like you are taking advantage of clients if you overcharge.

Not sure what to charge? Get the FREE report –  Charging What You’re Worth http://www.powerupforprofits.com/worth

Short-term vs Long-Term of Collaborative Relationships

When you think of collaborative partnerships, do you think in the short-term or long-term? Do you concern yourself only with what you can get out of the first level of your partnership or do you recognize the ongoing opportunities from collaboration?

Having been in business for nearly 24 years, I’ve seen those who understand the long-term of business and those who think only in the short-term.

The Thought Process

Short-term thinkers focus on the quick dollar without much thought to what comes next. They grab what they can without a view of the future.

Long-term thinkers realize every action is one that can create win/win, ongoing opportunities. Long-term thinkers are willing to give a little (even a lot) extra in the short term to build an ongoing relationship with collaborative partners, clients, vendors and affiliates.

Collaborative relationships between companies, can be the lifeblood of businesses today. Collaborative relationships allow you to increase the creative ideas, minimize financial risk and increase market reach.

Yet, some entrepreneurs completely lose sight of this ever-increasing trend in business. Rather than looking at how they can create a win/win partnership, they think only in terms of how to benefit in the short term.

Missed Opportunity

Some entrepreneurs are so short sighted they lose sight of future opportunities. Rather than viewing the partnership as something that can grow over time, they have a “get in and get out” mentality.

Short-term thinkers look at only the immediate gains while long-term thinkers understand there is likely to be more opportunity in the future.

Consider these questions specific to collaborative relationships.

  • Do you do all you can to make the relationship a win/win?
  • Do you look for ways to bring benefit to the collaboration?
  • Are you willing to give more than agreed upon?
  • Do you nickel and dime each other?
  • Do you struggle with repeat business?

Create a Win/Win

Develop a focus that creates a win/win, rather than simply what you can get in the short-term.

For example, when working with clients, be willing to add in extra deliverables at no extra charge to create the “wow” factor for your customers.

Recently I began working with a wonderful client. Knowing the client would benefit from a makeover on her LinkedIn profile, I reworked the copy and images without any additional cost to my client.

Her profile went from so/so to one that immediately conveyed her branding in a much more effective way.

I could have easily charged for this, but I wanted to go the extra mile. The client has invested a considerable amount with my company and this was one way to let her know how much I appreciate her.

Long-term plans for visibility

An aspect of the long-term is focusing on gaining visibility. There are a number of ways to do this and it is something you need to focus on. There is both online and offline visibility as well as the short-term and long-term.

When you post on social media, keep in mind that what you post is there for the long-term. Virtually anything is searchable at some point in the future so be aware that what you post today can come back to haunt you in the future.

Not sure how to gain the greatest benefit with your visibility? Join me on January 10, 2018 for Rock Star Visibility, a one day workshop in Portland, Oregon. http://www.powerupforprofits.com/tranform2018

As you attempt to stay competitive and grow your business, are you looking at only the short-term or do you truly look at the long-term? Giving a little today can go a long way in building a stronger tomorrow.

Authors: What, Why and How to build your platform

There's no argument from those in the know when it comes to securing a publishing contract and selling books. Many decisions are made based on an author's platform.

Even if you self-publish, you need to build your platform.

Your author platform is how you are currently reaching an audience of book buyers. It’s also how you plan to do so. It is your influence, your ability to sell to your market. It is your ability to sell books because of who you are or who you can reach.

Your author influence is your ability to impact your readers perspective, beliefs and point of view. It is also the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something.

What is Your Platform?

Your platform has to do with who you are… what makes you unique? It's also your personal and professional connections and any media outlets you can tap into in order to sell books.

In reality, if you want to get a book deal or agent, you need a platform. If you are a self-published author, you need a platform to sell your books. When your book is ready you absolutely must have a platform if you want to sell books.

Your platform includes your current customers and clients, audiences you present to, listeners who hear you on interviews, television audiences, blog readers, social media platforms, current email list and the market reach of collaborative partners.

Start Now

Many authors delay building their platform. Successful authors know there is no time to wait. They work on their platform on a consistent basis.

To build a rock solid platform you need to start immediately by doing something every day. Whether it's to blog, guest blog, set up interviews and speaking engagements, create a media kit, secure endorsements or be a featured expert on a summit, radio show or podcast, you will be well served to embrace the fact you need to build your platform.

Not sure where to start? Check out the Book Accelerator program to learn how to build your platform AND create a successful book launch.

 

 

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Authors: Tap into Intuition When You Write

As a writer, it’s likely you tap into what many call, “intuition.” I know I do.

In a recent conversation with my sister, fine artist Lorraine Lawson, we talked about our own process for creation. It’s amazing how similar our strategy is around allowing ideas to flow through intuition.

Writers, artists, musicians, photographers, and all types of creatives often go through a comparable process of creation… tapping into that space in time that allows our expressions to simply flow.

Yet, many others get stuck. This likely happens due to getting into the logical side of who we are, rather than the creative, intuitive side.

When I get stuck it’s usually me relying solely on my logical side, rather than letting ideas flow from my intuitive side.

When I allow myself to be in the intuitive side, ideas flow. Words flow. Concepts flow.

Lorraine said she does the same thing when she is in her intuitive, creative mode.

Create First, Then Analyze

Over the years, I’ve written millions of words. Some of my words became books. Others became information products, articles and blog posts.

The only way this has been possible is to allow my creative side to simply release the ideas that have come to me. I let the words flow and then go into “clean up” mode after I’ve done a writing “download.”

If I try to make my writing perfect from the start, I tend to get blocked. If, on the other hand, I simply let the words pour out of me, I have a lot to work with.

Watch Ego… It’s out to Stop You

We all have an ego. Ego can serve us, but it can also attempt to hold us back. When in the “hold back mode” it’s that part of ourselves that wants to keep us in our comfort zone. That part that tries to convince us not to try anything beyond what is safe in order not to fail.

When we play it safe, we are not willing to take risks. Not taking risks means we aren’t willing to let others see our creations, fearing we will be judged.

No matter what you do, no matter how safe you play it, you will be judged. You must decide if judgement by others will fuel you or hold you back.

Intuition Allows us to Go Beyond Our Comfort Zone

Intuition is simply the process of how the subconscious mind communicates with the conscious mind.

One of the best ways to cultivate intuition is to take quiet time with minimal distractions. Whether it be a formal process of meditation or a walk in nature, taking time to get quiet allows for ideas to surface.

If you’re wondering how to develop your ability to tap into intuition, why not join in on a very unique series.

My friend Evren Westhead and her team have produced the series, Trust Your Intuition, featuring top successful business experts – and I’m honored to be one of them.

This training just might offer you the “a-ha” moment you’ve been waiting for.

>>>so grab your spot HERE >>>>.https://evrenwesthead.com/kathleengage

In this interview-style training series, here’s what you’ll receive:

  • How to start trusting your own guidance.
  • How to build confidence in putting your unique point of view out there.
  • Shifting your mindset so you can expand to where few others dare, and keep your head on.
  • How to regulate your intuition to guide you when you need it the most.
  • Methods on how to easily recognize what is going on for your clients and tapping into providing a solution for them.
  • Formulas on how to communicate your leadership through calm and assertive energy
  • How to make a bigger impact for your clients and earn the income you’ve always wanted!
  • And bonus materials from each of our trainers!

I am excited to be a part of this training series, and I believe you’ll receive great value from it for your creative energy including how you run your business.

===> This free training will only be available for free for a limited time, so I highly suggest you click here and get access to it today.

This is YOUR chance to finally break through all the noise, so you can take your confidence and your vision to a whole new level!

https://evrenwesthead.com/kathleengage

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Authors: If You Can’t Take Criticism, You Best Not Play

If you’re an author who proactively markets, you are well advised to have broad shoulders. I can guarantee you this, the more you market, the more visible you become and the more you try to help other authors based on proven strategies, the more the haters comes out of the woodwork.

Feedback

“Clickbait article.”

“This is crazy BS. And all to try to sell a book. And the book is “How to be #1 on Amazon”. And anybody who tells you that they can make you #1 or a bestseller is lying to you. Period.”

“Just more useless advice base on one person's vagrant opinions. Enough of the philosophising and let writers write. Them's my sentiments.”

These are a handful of comments I received from a blog post I wrote that I shared on LinkedIn.

NOTE: I purposely didn’t correct the spelling of the word “philosophising” in that this person is a writer, but didn’t check their spelling prior to posting. Things that make you go, “Hmmmm”

Get Out of the Kitchen

If you can’t deal with criticism, you may be tempted to hide out and play it safe. The reality is this; the more visible you become, the more you open yourself up to criticism.

This is especially true for authors who are proactive in the way they market. Add those of us who teach other authors how to market and the criticism temperature rises considerably.

Here’s the deal, “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.”

Stop You in Your Tracks

Some people are more than willing to dole out harsh criticism. Sadly, this stops many authors from marketing their books.

Fear of criticism is what prevents some authors from doing all they can to get their message out to market. The comments above would stop many people in their tracks.

Whether it be their books, information products, webinars, teleseminars or presentations, to be visible means you are setting yourself up as target for other people’s criticism, judgment and harsh words.

My feelings about the criticism? So be it.

Yet, it’s a topic that does need to see the light of day.

My response

Although I could have ignored the comments, I chose to respond with, “I take no offense to any of the comments. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Not every author wants to make money. That's great. If you enjoy writing for the sake of writing, fantastic.

“But if someone wants to make money with their writing, in most cases, they must market. Whether it be the author or someone on their team or a company they hire, rarely can you not market your book.”

More committed than ever

The negative feedback makes me more committed than ever to educate authors on various ways they can market their books.

Again, if an author has no desire to make money, that’s fine. But for most authors, we love to write AND we love to make money with our writing. Making money means selling books. Selling books means marketing.

Seems for some authors, especially those who skirt around marketing, they haven’t connected the dots.

It’s Laughable

I laughed when I read the comment, “And all to try to sell a book.”

Well duh. Isn’t selling books what most authors want to do? If we don’t sell books, who’s going to read our work?

Again, if you write simply to write, that’s great. But if you’re an author who wants to make money with your books and use your books to create other opportunities such as speaking engagements, consulting contracts and coaching, you need to market.

You also need to develop broad shoulders to weather the negative feedback you are bound to get.

90/10% Rule

According to Dr Anita Sanz,Ninety percent of what anyone tells me about my book I figure is really giving me information about them and only ten percent is potentially helpful information about me or my book. I only need to pay attention to the ten percent, and it’s up to me to figure out what that ten percent is.

What is the 10% you need to focus on? And… are you willing to let go of the other 90% of feedback that likely isn’t worth paying attention to?

No feedback is worse than negative feedback. If you get no feedback it means you are so perfect you make no mistakes or no one is paying attention to what you’re doing.

The bottom line is this; if you want to play with the big boys and girls, you must put on your big boys and girls pants.

 

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Women in the Pet Industry Show What Influence is All About

Expert status. Authority. Influencer. These are all buzzwords to describe someone who is a leader in their industry.

The fact is, when these words represent you, it’s about how to quickly enjoy the recognition, respect, and increased sales you deserve as THE recognized authority in your industry (no matter what profession you're in).

In today’s noisy world, it’s essential to stand out from the crowd in a way that gets you noticed. To stand out from all that is vying for the attention of your market, set your sites on what you can do to position your authority daily.

Who Do You Believe Yourself to Be?

To be viewed as an authority, you must believe you are an authority. It’s about congruency and alignment between who you see yourself to be and who you are viewed as within your industry.

A few of the best ways to be viewed as an expert (aka authority) are:

  • Publish a book
  • Be a featured guest on podcast and radio shows
  • Be recognized within your industry

Each offers the opportunity to let your community know what you are up to.

Be a Proactive Promotional Director of Your Reputation

When something newsworthy occurs, don’t rely on others to notice. Be very proactive in how you raise awareness. Be willing to toot your own horn.

You can do so through social media postings, short YouTube videos, media releases, broadcast messages to your subscriber list and a letter or postcard to your customer or client base. There is plenty more you can do, but if you were to focus solely on these items, you would have more traction than likely 99% of your competitors.

Books

Do what successful authors do; begin marketing long before the book is published. Set up interviews on radio, television, podcast and magazines. Also, look for great speaking opportunities and book signings.

Some will seek out book stores, gift shops and specialty businesses who can feature their book and/or bring them in for a book signing.

Much of this needs to be planned months in advance.

Every time you make an appearance, promote further with media releases, social media posts, broadcast emails to your subscribers and short video clips.

You can also continue to promote after the fact.

Podcast and Radio Shows

In most cases, your appearances on a radio or podcast show will be scheduled days, weeks, even months in advance. As soon as you are scheduled, you can begin promoting your appearance. When the show is over, you can again promote the fact you were on the show as well as provide a replay link.

Recognized as an Industry Expert

Recently, I was a featured speaker at the 2017 Women in the Pet Industry Conference. This is an annual event that founder, Shawna Schuh hosts.

For two days, attendees enjoyed presentations by industry experts. The highlight of the annual event was the awards ceremony the evening of the last day.

Recognizing achievement in the pet industry, there are five categories in which a winner is selected. Additionally, one woman is named, Pet Industry Woman of the Year.

  • Advocate
  • Corporate
  • Entrepreneur
  • Rising Star
  • Solopreneur

The esteemed award is highly coveted within the industry. What I love about what Shawna and her WIPIN team do is provide lots of visibility for the contestants, finalists and of course, winners.

This is a hard-earned designation in which much can be done to further the cause of WIPIN and all those committed to the well-being of animals everyw

Photo by Erica J Mitchell

here.

The winners of each category are as follows:

  • Advocate – Marci Koski, Feline Behavior Solutions
  • Corporate – Gila Kurtz, Dog is Good
  • Entrepreneur – Candace D’Agnolo, Pet Boss Nation
  • Rising Star – Rebecca Breese, PetHub
  • Solopreneur – Mona Straub, Just Fur Fun

The 2017 Pet Industry Woman of the Year is Gila Kurtz from Dog is Good.

Each winner is in a great position to gain lots of traction from the recognition. Knowing the caliber of women WIPIN attracts, the primary reason each will do all they can to gain visibility regarding their award is to further their pet causes.

How It’s Done

To further their visibility, each can do the following:

  • Inform their social media community via video, images and posts.
  • Utilize the power of media releases
  • Send a message out to their subscriber list
  • Posts images on their blog and website
  • Set up interviews with podcasters specific to the pet space, business AND humanitarian issues
  • Send a direct mail piece to the client/customer base letting them know about the award
  • Add mention to their bio about the recognition

To learn more about what each finalist, and the winners, are committed to go to https://www.womeninthepetindustry.com/women-of-the-year/

Are you looking for rock star visibility? If so, join me and my good friend, Jim Edwards for Instant Authority Secrets. The FREE webinar takes place on Thursday, October 5th at 12 p.m. PDT.

Reserve your spot by clicking here. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Authors Should Speak on the Platform

Years before I published my first book and began making money from writing, I made my living as a professional speaker. Simply put, I got paid to speak.

Early on in my business, speaking was my primary revenue stream.

When I began my speaking career, I had no idea there was more than one way to make money as a speaker. That is, not until I was contracted by a seminar company.

It was a great four year run. I traveled and spoke all over the United States, in many locations in Canada as well as England. Other than being able to speak to thousands upon thousands of mostly women,  I learned an incredible skill; selling products from the platform.

Not only was I required to be an outstanding speaker, it was imperative to generate revenues for the company by selling books and tapes at each speaking engagement. To not be able to do both meant the gig was up.

Developing the skill of selling products from the platform (aka back of the room sales) was a huge benefit in times ahead.

When it All Began

Long before there was Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and the now nostalgic voice that we eagerly awaited to hear, “You’ve got mail,”  I began my career as a speaker.

The year was 1994. I had just left my corporate job with GTE Health Systems. Being very new to the industry of speaking, I was convinced all I needed to do was have the desire to speak and the rest would take care of itself. I soon learned otherwise.

Back in the day, the only way to get speaking gigs was to literally pound the pavement. That's how I secured the four year speaking gig. I did what I needed to do to be invited to audition for the company.

I had to send them a demo tape and fly out to Kansas to showcase my talent.

The contract definitely gave me financial security, but when it came time to go out on my own, I was about to learn some very important lessons.

Rough Times Ahead

Competition back 20 plus years ago was a lot less than it is today, but finding opportunities took a lot of effort… for a newbie.

In the day, there were fewer people who called themselves speakers.

If you wanted to showcase your talent there were plenty of associations willing to let you present at their monthly meetings. Whether it be your local chamber, the local chapter of a women’s association or large companies in town that brought in experts on Fridays to present during the lunch hour, there was ample opportunity to get in front of an audience.

The challenge was finding the best groups to speak to for one's expertise.

Secret Sauce is No Longer a Secret

Fast forward to today and the playing field is a lot different. The “secret sauce” of showcasing your talent by offering to speak for free is no longer such a secret. Where you used to be one of a handful of experts who spoke on a particular topic, today there are dozens,  if not hundreds, even thousands, of experts standing in line waiting for someone to say, “Sure, we would love to have you present on XYZ topic.”

Teleseminars Hit the Radar

At one point, many seasoned speakers realized they could actually reach more people and make a ton of money by offering teleseminars.  It was around 2005 when I realized this was a literal cash cow. I could make tens of thousands of dollars by getting on the phone, teaching a topic and making an offer on the back-end.

Best of all, I could do it in my pajamas because my audience would not see me with the platform of teleseminars.

Then came webinars. Those of us who were willing to muddle through the limited technology available back then could not only be heard, we could put up a slick slide presentation and add another element to our speaking.

Novelties Wear Off

Initially, online methods to reach our market were as much of a novelty as were the in-person showcase presentations, but it didn’t take long before lots of experts got wind of how big a market they could reach and how truly profitable this could be.

That was the great news. The bad news was this; people who called themselves experts, but really weren’t, got on the bandwagon. The market got really crowded and the quality of information went downhill.

Lots of newbies heard, “All you need to do is showcase an area of expertise by getting in front of your audience to make easy money.”

They came on board and quickly gave up because it wasn’t as easy as they had been led to believe. Even bona-fide experts became disillusioned and gave up way too soon because they realized they didn’t have it all figured out.

They would compare themselves with those of us who had been around for a decade or two (or three or four) and wonder why it wasn’t as easy as they had been led to believe.

Here’s a few reasons:

  1. They expect to hang their shingle and hoards of people will flock to listen to them regardless of how little effort they put into honing their craft.
  2. They haven't clearly honed an area of expertise that others identify them with. They jump from topic to topic never giving one thing a chance to grow.
  3. They are crappy presenters. This one speaks for itself.
  4. They put very little effort into gaining visibility and recognition. They are minimally known to the very people who can make the decision to bring them in for a speaking engagement or those who willing to put an hour aside to listen to them on a webinar or teleseminar.
  5. They give up before they give the process of building name recognition a chance to work.
  6. They fail to differentiate themselves by writing a book (or books).
  7. They have no way to generate revenue on the back-end with products and services. They truly believe they will make money solely from speaking.

There are plenty more, but these are some of the primary reasons experts who want to speak will fail.

Sadly, there are plenty of people out there who claim you can make great money speaking with very little effort. Any level of success takes effort. Anyone who tells you otherwise is wrong, incredibly wrong.

Visibility is a Must

You MUST put effort into what you’re doing AND  gain name recognition for opportunity to come knocking.

One of the best ways to do this is by creating the environment to showcase your skill, expertise and knowledge in front of those who give a darn about you and your message.

You MUST take control of the opportunities in front of you. A great way to do this is by hosting what are called self-staged events.

As someone who has not only survived, but thrived, in the ups and downs of the economy, shifts in how business is grown, technology creating incredible opportunity and competition, I long ago figured out what a golden opportunity this can be.

Truth be told, if I can figure it out, so can you. Like anyone who is extremely visible to my market, I started right where other highly visible experts did… a complete unknown.

Has the visibility come without effort? Not at all. Nearly 25 years into my business, I still do something every single day to reach my market.

Visibility Can Be Yours

Visibility is available to anyone willing to put the effort into the process. The age old question remains, “Where do I start?”

To make things really easy, I’ve put together a special report that walks you through the exact process of how to create your own cost effective events so you never have to worry about whether or not there is competition, what’s happening in the economy, what changes occur online, or any other factor that dissuades those not committed to using speaking to position their expertise.

It’s called, The Step-by-Step Guide of How I Make Over $100,000 a Year with FREE Presentations. It’s yours for the taking. Go to http://100kspeakerreport.com/.   This report is perfect for speakers, authors and consultants.

One of the reasons I make money on the platform, regardless of the economic temperature, is due to having products, including books, to sell. You don't need lots of products to make a great living. Actually, a book, or several books, could get you on track for some outstanding revenues. You can also use books as a negotiation tool with meeting planners.

If you're book has done well on Amazon, all the better.

And the next time you tell yourself the stories that prevent you from growing your business with speaking, read through the report to once again realize how really simple it can be….when your willing to do the work and stay in the game.

 

Authors: are you jumping over big money to save a little now?

In the years I’ve been in business, I’ve watched incredibly talented people stumble when it comes to where to invest their marketing dollars. To save a few bucks, they will spend hours and hours searching out an answer…for free. Basically, they are jumping over big money to save a little now.

I see this frequently with authors. They know they need to invest, but literally freak out when they think about parting with their money.

It’s one thing to be conscientious on how you are investing, it’s something completely different to not be willing to part with even $50 to save days, weeks, often months of time trying to piece information together.

Investing is a MUST

Here’s the deal… you have to invest in your marketing. If you don’t, you’re hindering your success as an author who might also be a speaker who might also be a consultant.

Granted, you can invest your own time to save money, but how much are you actually spending in lost productivity, stress, and overtaxing your time by trying to do everything yourself?

If you’re not willing to invest in your marketing, it’s difficult for people to find your books. If they don’t find your books, they can’t buy them. If they don’t buy your books, they may not fully understand your brilliance.

I'm on Amazon

“But I have my book on Amazon,” is a common response.

Great! You have your book on Amazon. Yours and millions of other books are listed. Have you thought about how to drive traffic to your Amazon page?

This is an absolute must to be successful in selling your books on Amazon. Not sure how to do this? Get my FREE report, One On Amazon by clicking here.

Have you thought about what comes next? Do you have a way for people to get on your subscriber list? Can they easily find you on social media? Do you have a long-term plan on how to serve your readers?

Most authors have never, ever given this thought. There are a handful of authors who have. The ones who have are usually making more than those who haven’t.

Maybe This Isn't You

Granted, not all authors want to make money, but the authors I work with do. They often use their book as a way to position their expertise, raise their market visibility, generate leads and increase revenues.

If this is not you, no problem. There’s nothing wrong with writing and publishing books for the sake of writing, but if you want to make money, you do have to look at things differently.

Whether it be to offer something inside the book that encourages readers to opt in for a high-value gift or have a page in the book that tells your readers about other products and services you have available, the more you plan the journey the reader will take, outside of reading the book, the better.

Case Study

When my book, Power Up for Profits, was released, I offered a ticket to a live, three-day event in Portland, Oregon to those who invested in the book during a specific time period.

Not only did I drive sales during this time frame, I filled seats at my event and when I made an offer at my event, I enrolled serious entrepreneurs into my private programs.

All told, this equated to multiple six figures. Very few authors can claim that their book generates six figures, let alone, multiple six figures.

I don’t share this to impress anyone, but to impress on you, it’s about systems, goals, vision and implementation.

Currently, I am working on my memoir. As I write, I also work on the marketing plan. I have BIG plans for my book. Not only the sales of the book, but speaking engagements, private clients, interviews on radio and podcast shows, television, blogs, and anywhere I can reach my potential reader.

This takes more than wishful thinking. It takes discipline.

Recently, an author asked me, “If you market every day, when do you have time to write?”

A valid question. Marketing every day does NOT mean all day. It means a little every day.

My answer to her was, “I schedule in the time for both. For example, when I write a blog post that ties into the theme of a book, I can have links to the purchase page on Amazon. I then have a checklist of places to promote the permalink such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, my email subscribers and other social networks such as Pinterest and Google+. All of that is part of the promotions.

Recently, I wrote a blog post that shows how I linked up a book I mentioned directly to Amazon. That one post has been sent out with the list mentioned above to thousands of people all over social media.

Does that mean thousands will read it? Not at all. That's why daily action is essential. Here is the post.

In the post, I have ways for people to get on my subscriber list, which gives me even more traction with the marketing.

Again, it’s not just what happens when you post your book to Amazon, it’s everything you do before, during and after.

Not sure what to do? Get the Book Accelerator Checklist to find out. No opt-in required. Instant download. http://booklaunchpower.com/processlist/

Think You're Ready?

On August 24 – 25, 2017, I'm hosting a very intimate gathering in my office for serious minded authors who are READY to deep dive into their book marketing. This is NOT for those who are not willing to play full out and have a fully developed plan at the end of the two days. Limited to six participants. To find out if this is for you, please email me at kathleen@kathleengage.com. Subject line: 2 Day Author Deep Dive Inquiry.

Again, only serious authors respond. This is NOT for tire kickers.

Inspiration or Discipline…What Makes for a Successful Author?

For as long as I’ve been a published author, I’ve heard some writers say they write when they are inspired, while others have a routine for writing.

So, which is more effective? I suppose it depends on the person, but as a published author many times over, if I had to wait to be inspired, I would likely still be working on my first book.

These Experts Are Disciplined

I have lots of friends, colleagues and clients who have written and published at least one book. Many have several books published. Most will tell you their formula for success is discipline first followed by inspiration.

I often hear aspiring authors say, “I write when I’m inspired.” Many of these same men and women stare at a blank computer screen day after day and have yet to publish anything.

On the flip side, I hear from authors who have several books to their credit say, “When I discipline myself to sit down and write, the inspiration follows.”

Truth vs. Reality

Before I was ever published, I romanced the idea of what it meant to be an author. The fantasy and reality are often worlds apart.

With several books to my name, dozens of information products, thousands of blog posts and articles written and lots of content on social media, this equates to millions of words.  A great majority of my writing was done through a routine of writing.

Granted, some of my writing is sparked by a conversation on Facebook or Twitter that inspires me to write. But more times than not, the flow of my words came from scheduling time to write.

My Own Journey with My Memoir

Currently, I’m in a rewrite of my first ever memoir. What I’ve discovered is a memoir requires a different type of writing skill than a business, spiritual or self-help book.

To assure my memoir is the best it can be, I hired a coach/editor who is helping me to pull out more color for a character in my book, a scene or a memory. Without her help, I would be struggling with the process. Working with someone as skilled as her is part of my discipline.

For well over a decade I thought of writing my memoir. Several months ago, I finally got serious about it. I was at a mastermind retreat when the thought, “You have thought about this long enough. It’s time to do it,” struck me.

Right there and then I made the commitment to get at least 60,000 words written in 60 days. To assure I would stay accountable, I posted my goal in a private Facebook group I host.

Each day, I wrote…without fail. No matter how “inspired” I felt, I wrote.  To stay accountable, I posted updates of my progress in the Facebook Group.

Thrilled when I achieved my goal, the first draft went to my editor. Little did I realize how much more work would be involved in the rewrite. Yet, because of this, I’m finding the manuscript is taking form in a way I never imagined.

My Reality

Am I always inspired to work on the manuscript? No, I’m not. Am I disciplined? Yes, I am.

Ironically, every time I stick to my disciplined schedule, I become inspired to share my story through a memoir.

For me, it’s discipline first, followed by inspiration. This is how I’ve written millions of words over the years.

As I’ve worked on the rewrite, I’ve also worked on the marketing foundation. This is another area many authors miss the boat. They are under the misguided assumption all they need to do is write.

Wrong, wrong, wrong. And if I didn’t make myself clear… wrong!

You must market. Whether you’re the one doing the marketing, or you outsource this aspect of your book success, marketing is a must do.

And marketing is more than listing your book on Amazon.

Lest you think I’m not inspired to write, I am. My inspiration comes from knowing my words can, and do, make a difference to my readers. My inspiration comes from knowing I am fulfilling my dream of being a successful, published author. My inspiration comes from knowing, by disciplining myself to write, I am living the life I once only dreamed of. My inspiration comes from knowing I am doing what I am here to do… write.

Do you wait for inspiration or do you incorporate discipline into your writing process?

 

 

 

 

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Why Some People Should NOT Write a Book

I’ve been a proponent of experts writing books to build their business for years. There’s a lot of power and opportunity for someone who takes the time to put their experience and knowledge into a book.

Yet, not everyone is meant to write a book. As a matter of fact, some people should scrap the idea entirely.

Keep in mind, this post is not for those who write simply for the sake of writing with no intention of the book every gaining traction. The traction that gets the book in the hands of readers. For those authors, have fun, write and stop reading this post.

However, for those experts who say they are writing for the purpose of impacting others, building their business with their books and making a difference to their readers, read on.

In the years I’ve been an author, and now a mentor to authors who want to use their books to generate business, there are two areas I’ve seen people struggle.

One, in the overall writing of the book. Two, in the marketing of the book.

Why you may be well served NOT to write a book

If you struggle to sit down and write your book, thus causing yourself a lot of stress, you have a few choices. One, develop a routine for writing. That’s right. Develop routines. Two, give up on the idea of writing a book in order to minimize the stress in your life.

I’m always amused by wanna-be authors who say, “I have to be inspired.” Fact is, those of us who have any number of books under our belt, were not always inspired to write. Yet, once we started writing, we found the inspiration.

The type of people who romance the idea of being published authors, but are not willing to put in the time or effort to do the “boring” stuff, will never get far in their writing. They are the ones who only want to talk about what they are doing rather than doing things like write when no one is looking.

It’s the same with just about anything you say you want to do. I think of my efforts with running races of any distance. When I recently trained for a half marathon, there were plenty of days I wasn’t inspired to train, but I did so anyway.

Days when it was 28 degrees. Or days when it was pouring rain. Or days when we would have company who gathered together in the morning to drink coffee and talk. Any of these would have been excuse enough not to get out and train.

The fact is, I wasn’t always inspired, but I was smart enough to know that if I didn’t give it 100% during the training, the actual half marathon would be harder than it was already going to be.

It’s the same with writing a book. It takes effort. It takes writing even when we are not inspired. It takes getting through our own mental blocks.

Not Knowing Your Big Why

For me, I know that my words make a difference to my readers. Granted, not everyone is impacted by what I write, but there are those who are. Impact, transformation and inspiration for my readers is my big WHY!

It’s the same with what you write. There will be those who crave your words, wisdom and insight and others who don’t.

To not do everything possible to get your words from your head and heart onto paper is doing a disservice to those who need (and want) to read what you write.

If your books are about depression and you have information that could help someone with their depression, giving them insights into how to create a better quality of life for themselves and their family, why are you not doing all you can to help them by finishing your book?

Maybe you’re an animal behaviorist specialist whose insights can literally save a dog from being taken to the pound by teaching simple strategies for a dog to adjust to a new home environment.

Perhaps you’re a relationship expert who knows how couples can have deep, loving relationships through the information you have.

Bottom-line is this; you owe it to your readers to do all you can to get your books written… even when you are not feeling the inspiration in the moment to write. Start writing and the inspiration will surface.

The Boogie Monster – Marketing

The next type of person who may not want to write a book is the author who is not willing to do all they can to market their books.  The way some authors avoid marketing, you would think it is the Boogie Monster we feared as children. You know the one, the Boogie Monster under the bed that left us immobilized, blanket pulled as high as we could get it, wondering when the monster would emerge from under the bed, until we drifted off to sleep.

Then there came a day we realized there was no monster, but rather, it was a figment of our imagination. It’s the same with the Boogie Monster of marketing.

This does not mean you are the one to do the actual marketing tasks. It means you fully understand that a book that is not marketed is one that will not reach its full potential.

With all that is available today for marketing a book, such as blog tours, Thunderclap, Crowd Funding, podcast interviews and social media, there’s no reason an author can’t get some great traction for their books.

Again, you may not be the one who does the actual work, but the work must be done.

Your decision to either do the marketing yourself, or hire someone to do it, is based on two things; money and time. If you have more money than time, outsource. If you have more time than money, do the work yourself. Either way, get it done.

It all Takes Work

The hard truth is, getting a book written, marketed and in the hands of readers, takes works. It’s not always easy. It may be simple (there is plenty of information available on how to do it) but it’s not necessarily easy.

It takes time, commitment and focus. If you’re not willing to do what you need to do, if you’re always waiting to be inspired, if it’s more fun to think about being a published author than putting in the effort, then maybe writing a book is NOT for you.

For everyone else, keep your focus on your big WHY! Why are you writing your book? Who will benefit? How many lives will you change because of your insights, words and wisdom.

Want to know how to reach more of your potential readers? I have two excellent resources to help.

Hit #1 On Amazon FREE ReportClick here

Insider Secrets to Hit #1 webinarClick here

Both will show you, step-by-step, what to do to get lots of traction for your book(s).

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